One of the biggest questions I get from people when we’re talking about traveling is how to avoid jet lag. With traveling being my absolute favorite thing to do (and international travel being my favorite) I spend a lot of time in airports and airplanes bouncing between time zones and I think the most valuable thing I’ve learned with all of this travel is how to avoid jet lag. Seriously, I have mastered the art of never being jet lagged and today I’m sharing my tips and secrets!
The first time I flew internationally with a sizable time difference was to London and the English Countryside my freshman year of high school with about 60 other high schoolers for a week long exchange. Everything about that trip was incredible, the red phone booths, Buckingham Palace, Oxford, the cobblestone streets that just oozed history, and running around on an absolute dream trip with my friends. It was the first time I was truly bitten by the travel bug. Perhaps the best part though? I never felt even a little bit jet lagged!
I have traveled abroad at least once almost every year since that trip and, like most of the best advice I’ve ever received, my big secret for how to avoid jet lag comes from my mom! Before I left for London she handed me some Benadryl and told me to change my watch to local time and start living in that time zone even though I wasn’t there yet. That means going to sleep regardless of the time where I was (hence the Benadryl) and eating when you would if you were already there!
While that will help immensely there’s a second part to the trick: once I arrive in whatever city I’m traveling to, I just stick with the flow of the city. I power through the exhaustion that can sometimes come with international travel, eat when it it’s lunch time, sight see, explore. I almost never take a nap and I always force myself to stay awake until 10 pm no matter how tired I am on that first night. 10:00 pm can feel like an absolute eternity or like a super early bedtime depending on the time difference but trust me 10 pm is the magic number that you need to avoid jet lag every. single. time.
It sucks losing sleep, but I’ll make an exception for seeing a new corner of the world, especially with these secrets in my back pocket to help me lose less!